Debt limit goes back into effect at level near $20 trillion


WASHINGTON (AP) — The national debt limit has come back into force at a level near $20 trillion, prompting the Trump administration to alert Congress about the measures it will take to stay under the new limit.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a letter to lawmakers that that he has started employing various bookkeeping measures to avoid breaching the new limit, a process that will provide possibly five months or more for Congress to raise the limit.

The borrowing limit had been suspended since November 2015, allowing the government to borrow as much as needed to meet obligations. However, the 2015 legislation set March 16 as the date that the debt limit would go back into effect at whatever debt level existed on March 15.